Praying can often seem like such a daunting task, especially for those who’ve ever had any type of addiction tendencies, mostly because of that universal addict mentality that says “I want it my way and right away!” This mentality appears to be a common one with non-addicts as well these days and sadly, the truth is that prayer doesn’t always work this way.
It’s probably a safe bet to say that a great number of people in this world have often resorted to prayer when the “shit hit the fan” for them. In other words, when their relationships failed, when they faced financial ruin, when they developed serious health issues, when child custody issued occurred, when they got fired from their jobs or their employment abruptly ended for other reasons, when they got arrested, when they faced jail time, when loneliness got too great for them, or when any other terrible tragedy took place in their lives, is usually the precise moment when God was called upon by them for help, even if they never had any prior relationship with God. But when that help didn’t come immediately and when an immediate fix didn’t occur, the tendency for both addicts and non-addicts is to get angry at God and flip the middle finger. Thus, making it even harder to turn to prayer in the future. On the contrary though, if an immediate fix did miraculously take place after those prayers, which I normally refer to as “911-prayers”, the tendency is to then start expecting God to do it all the time for them.
But sadly, this really doesn’t tend to be how prayer works for most of us in this world. God isn’t some genie, granting our every wish every time we ask, and because of that, addicts, and plenty of other non-addicts too, often turn away from God because they don’t get exactly what they want.
From my personal experiences with prayer, God not only works on a different timetable than the one my ego wants, but also seems to answer prayers at times in ways that are contrary to what I think I totally need.
Case in point, I’ve been praying for years and years now for my physical, mental, and emotional suffering to be fully lifted, which as of this writing, still hasn’t been. Healing has in fact been rather slow and challenging for me, yet somehow, I’ve become much stronger of an individual because of it, filled with far more faith and patience than I ever had before. Old unhealthy patterns have also been broken in the process, other outlying addictions have been overcome, my level of compassion has increased, as has my unconditional love for others. And I don’t think that any of that would have occurred if God had answered my prayer like my impatient addict brain had desired long ago when I first uttered it.
Nevertheless, praying does not guarantee an immediate answer from God, as my life sure has proven that. But what my life has proven is that God does work on a level far beyond my comprehension when answering my prayers. And even when I’ve thought God hasn’t been answering them, even when my ego has attempted to convince me that God doesn’t exist and that praying is stupid, somewhere within me I still have continued to believe that God is working on a level that’s rather like a Master Chess player, knowing precisely what moves to make to achieve an end goal to this very prayer I first prayed so long ago.
So, if you are someone who finds difficulty with prayer, use my life as living proof that although prayer may not be answered immediately or in the ways exactly desired, that something wonderful does happen for our greater good and far beyond our understanding, each time we do pray. And while I may not be feeling how I’d like to be feeling in my body yet, I do like the person I’m becoming far more than the person I was becoming before I ever muttered my first prayer to heal, and that truly is what’s convinced me that God always does answer every one of our prayers. It’s only our egos, our impatience, and our self-centeredness that says otherwise and makes prayer such a difficult thing in our minds in the first place…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson